Monday, December 19, 2011

Biscotti, Two Ways

This past weekend, I got tons of baking done. Tons and tons.




After rolling out the last of the 6 batches of cinnamon rolls, after a weekend of biscotti and toffee. I felt done. I felt done with the powdered sugar on my hands, wiping off the icing. Washing bowls.

Washing bowls. *ugh*

Then after icing the rolls, I told hubby again. "I think I'm done. I think all of the holiday baking that's been dying to come out of me is complete."

Not to say I won't do other cooking and baking. But these rich holiday, fancy, once a year things are done.

Then while we sat and ate a biscotti with coffee last night, we came up with a new variation to try on the biscotti.

I'm mad. Really. Totally insane.

But I don't have this incredible urge to do it before Christmas and give it away to everybody.

So, it's a start.

I used Heather Christo's Chocolate, Pistachio and Cranberry Biscotti recipe. It uses the special dark cocoa and finely chopped dark chocolate.

It was really easy to make! The recipe is:
-¾ cup minced dark chocolate (I used special dark chocolate chips)
-1 cup brown sugar
-3 eggs
-2 tsp vanilla
-1 ¾ cups flour
-1/3 cup dark cocoa powder ( I used Hershey's special dark)
-1 tsp baking soda
-½ tsp salt
-1 cup raw pistachios
-½ cup dried cranberries

Beat your eggs and vanilla a minute until a little frothy, then add your chopped chocolate. I just poured out chocolate chips and did a quick chop through them. They were probably larger chunks than she had, but I didn't mind that one bit. Add your chocolate and brown sugar. Mix it up, then add your salt, baking soda, dark cocoa and slowly mix in your flour, until incorporated.
Then lightly mix in the pistachios and dried cranberries. I just mixed with a spoon.

Then turn out on a lightly floured work space, cause it's just slightly sticky. Coat with flour and mold with your hands into a log.

Place on a parchment sheet and bake for 40 min at 300 degrees.

Then I made a non-chocolate version.

I know. Non-chocolate? Am I crazy?

I think we went over that.

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti(non-chocolate version)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup pistachio nuts

  • I just changed it to white sugar and added a little oil. I combined hers with a few suggestions online and came up with this. It worked great.

    I just made a half batch of this. I have a co-worker that doesn't love chocolate. Yes, she's crazy.

    I am taking some biscotti in little gift bags to the Customer Service Reps at the front desk at work. They are a lot of help to me. And you know, that needs to be appreciated. So, I bought those holiday Ghiradelli bags and am tying them up with the biscotti for Christmas gifts.

    This one went the same way, except for no chocolate, duh.

    Pretty! The cranberries and pistachios kinda made it red and green!

    This one bakes at 300 for 35 minutes.

    These were really quick to mix up. Really.

    It's a thick batter and you throw the ingredients in and done!

    After they come out. You have to cut and bake again. Let them sit about 5-10 minutes then cut them. Just slide them on a cutting board, make cuts with a large knife and lay on their side back on the parchment.

    I cut these about 1/2 inch thick.
    See how it's not overly brown? That's good. I cut this one too, but didn't take a picture of it.

    Lower the temp to 275 and bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake another 15 minutes. We're drying them out.

    Oh, and they smell awesome. All vanilla-y, chocolate-y.

    I wanted to dress them up a bit, but I didn't want to detract from it and dunk them in melted chocolate.

    So, I melted some almond bark and drizzled it over. I used a ziploc bag with the corner cut out. I didn't want to add oil to make it drizzly and then not have it firm up.

    Here's the drizzle. I didn't like how it got squiggly.

    But I don't think anyone will care.

    Personally, I think when I make these again, just for us. I will leave them plain. They didn't need it.

    And I will, make them again, I mean. They were quick to throw together and extremely good.

    They were hard and crunchy, but had enough body that they weren't crumbly.

    The chocolate ones were rich and dark. So, so dark that the chocolate flavor really just hits it. The small cranberry bite is perfect in it and the pistachios are this lovely salty bit in the middle of it all.

    The vanilla ones are light and flavorful. You can almost taste the little olive oil in them. They have more of a tender flavor. Light and lovely. Still rich, slightly sweet.

    I put two together in these little fun bags. They were cute! I ended up with extra. I tucked a few in with other gifts bags and tied some on top of wrapped packages. They are pretty little gifts.

    This last weekend, we took the girl to the Lutheran Home where her girlscout troop sang Christmas carols to the residents. They really liked it. We showed up right after dinner while they were enjoying their desserts.

    Then they handed out cards they made for them. It was a nice night. I wish I would have made a big batch of cookies to bring with us.
    We also ran around some stores and bought small gifts for the girl's friends at school. And stuffers to add to neice's gifts and the fireman's crew's kids.

    He really gets into Christmas. He loves to buy kid's teddy bears and things and we ran around to people's houses and delivered them.

    The fireman wore a santa hat and made the girl wear an elf hat.

    I've had a huge dose of Christmas Spirit this year. And I'm lovin' it. I think I will be done with it next week, though. But I'm glad with did it all. It's been great.

    We also did a little shopping without the girl, when the boys were home. We picked up the last few things.

    I gotta wrap a few more things tonight. The fireman will make coffee and we're hole up in our room to wrap. I wrap, he chats.

    Then, we all sat down to watch The Polar Express that I DVR'd. He'd never seen it before and he LOVED it. I mean, seriously.

    A bit ago, he told me that he could watch it again tonight.

    I've created a monster.


    Jana said...

    The biscotti looks awesome. And those pics of the fireman and the girl are adorable. ;-)

    Hope ya'll have an awesome Christmas!

    JenMarie said...

    Ha! Thanks! They were silly and having fun.

    Thanks, you too!!